September 4th, 2019


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The Grandfather Infestation, by John Peel

Second paragraph of third chapter:
‘Do you think you should, Mr Chorley?’ the landlord asked. ‘You’ve been acting a bit… odd lately. And my name’s not Joe, it’s Thomas.’
Another rollicking good yarn in the recent series of spinoff books about the life of Alastair Lethbridge-Stewart between the events of The Web of Fear and The Invasion. Peel is an old hand at this, having written the very first in the Virgin New Adventures series of spinoffs, almost thirty years ago. This story invokes Triffids, The Seeds of Doom and Fury from the Deep and boils up the elements to make a Brigadier story that is derivative but great fun. Continuing to enjoy this series. (Reference also to the DS9 pesticide from Planet of Giants.) You can get this one here.

Though I must grumble about one technical point - at the start of Chapter Three, Chorley buys two shots of whiskey with a couple of pound notes. The story (indeed, the chapter) is clearly dated to 10 September 1975 by mention of the IRA bombing of the Hilton five days before. I am trawling the internet for evidence of booze prices in 1975, and haven't yet come up with a firm answer, but I get the impression that there's no way a single shot of whisky would have cost as much as 50p back then, in which case a single pound note would have been enough. Perhaps Chorley was ordering doubles, which would of course further justify the landlord's concern.